Try to find common ground to build on

Did you know minus 40 degrees Celsius is exactly the same as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit?

Rather strange considering the wide degree of separation the two measuring standards often follow.

When it comes to studying the Bible with people of vastly different points of view and doctrines, it is important to find common ground to build on. This is obviously more difficult with some groups than it is with others, but the benefit that comes from the agreements can outweigh the easier task of ignoring them.

More beneficial is discussing the possibility of former beliefs and the path of understanding that led to a genuine changing of the mind and heart. This particular approach may not be able to be used by everyone, but it should definitely be used by those who have the ability to do so.

As we all should know, changing our mind, even when it comes to proven truth, is not always easy. This is why we should think about the way others could feel during study times. This can be done without sacrificing the truth or our conscience.

Building upon common ground was a successful avenue that several biblical teachers used when discussing varying spiritual beliefs and God’s word … even Jesus (remember the woman at the well in John 4). And that is why we should practice it from time-to-time.

Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.” (Acts 17:22-29 NKJV)

#bible-discussions, #religious-differences, #thinking-of-others

Why extra-biblical resources for spiritual authority are so frustrating

Last week I posted an article called “Jesus is THE prophet of God” on Keltonburg Preacher and I received a comment that questioned the reliability of such a statement and belief. By doing so the comment revealed why extra-biblical resources for spiritual authority are so frustrating. How’s that? Let me show you how by dropping you in midstream of the conversation.

The reply to my article:

“Well, i’m a Christian and I believe Jesus to be the Son of God, not a prophet”

My reply:

“…Now as to whether or not Jesus was a (and more importantly “the”) prophet of God consider a few things: Continue reading

#bible-discussions, #biblical-authority, #errors-of-denominationalism, #jesus, #jesus-christ, #mormonism, #prophet-of-god, #religion, #sola-scriptura

Why Can’t People Talk Bible When They Say They Want To Talk Bible?

This question is one that boggles my mind. People want to talk about biblical topics but they do so without wanting to talk about what the scriptures say.

The conversation/debate/discussion (whichever may be case) about the scriptures begins but soon reverts into and ends with “I think” or “I feel” or “I believe” or “The catechism says” or “The creed book says” or “The “father” in Rome says” and on and on it goes.

Why can’t we do what Peter simply said to do when he wrote, “If anyone has anything to say, let it be as the words of God….” (1 Peter 4:11 – BBE) Why do we read that the church is built upon the prophets, the apostles and upon the cornerstone of Christ (Ephesians 2:20), but then try to defend the church we belong to with the words of people other than the prophets, the apostles and Jesus?

The scriptures aren’t open to personal interpretations that cause people to contradict one another. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and the scriptures come from God (2 Timothy 2:16-17), so the obvious conclusion is that the scriptures can’t contradict. If our “personal interpretation” causes the scriptures to contradict then it’s not the scriptures that have the problem – it’s the interpreter!

Feelings alone do not interpret the scriptures. The Jews who failed to heed Paul’s preaching about Jesus from the Old Testament scriptures did so because they relied upon personal feelings and human traditions without God’s word. The Jews who believed and accepted Paul’s preaching about Jesus from the Old Testament did so because they relied upon feelings directed by the scriptures of God (Acts 17:11). Human emotions can be turned in the wrong direction, but God’s word reveals the true path of righteousness to stay on (Jeremiah 7:24, 13:10, 17:9; Psalm 119:105, 172; Romans 1:16-17).

Talking Bible isn’t always easy because talking Bible isn’t what everyone wants to do. But regardless of how we feel about the Bible, we will get much further with the Bible when we talk with it instead of talking about it.

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)

#bible, #bible-discussions, #bible-study, #biblical-authority, #religious-authority

“Word,” the email discussion list on Bible texts

Take a look at this email discussion list on YahooGroups, with the simple name of “Word.”

Each week the moderators will post an Old Testament and a New Testament text for discussion, study and application.

The list has been quiet of late, could use some good participants.

It was amazing that this name was available on YahooGroups as late as 2008.

#bible-discussions, #bible-study, #yahoogroups